Frequently Asked Questions
Overview: What is happening?
For the first time ever, the Board of Commissioners of Public Hospital District No. 1, Skagit Regional Health, is asking voters to consider an operating levy to help support access to quality care in our community and meet the challenges we’ve never seen before.
The proposition, to fund maintenance and operations, will appear on the April 25, 2023 special election ballot and asks voters of the district to decide whether to approve the levy.
Quality health care is a cornerstone of a thriving, vibrant community. The past three years have proven challenging for hospitals across the region. Skagit Regional Health has experienced high demand for care and services, staffing challenges and high supply costs.
Skagit Regional Health is a non-profit, community owned public health system that has an outstanding track record of providing excellent care, 24/7, since 1958. The system includes Skagit Valley Hospital in Mount Vernon and more than two dozen clinics.
What is the date of the levy election?
April 25, 2023
How much is the proposed levy?
The levy request is 50 cents per $1,000 of assessed property value.
Do you have an example of how much a property owner will pay?
Based on the current 2023 assessed value of the property within the district, the proposed levy would result in an estimated levy amount of $16.65 per month or $200 per year for property with an assessed value of $400,000. The 2024 assessed value will be used to compute the levy amount in the first year.
When will property owners start paying for the levy?
The levy will go into effect in 2024.
How will the proceeds of the levy be spent?
If approved, the funds will help Skagit Regional Health continue to improve access to quality care, including primary care and a wide variety of specialties from surgery to orthopedics.
Do district residents already pay taxes to the Public Hospital District?
Yes, district residents approved a general obligation bond issue in 2004 to help pay for the major expansion of Skagit Valley Hospital that opened in 2007. The bond issue will be paid off and the levy for those bonds will end in 2028.
When will voters receive ballots?
Ballots will be sent by the Skagit County Auditor on or about April 5.
Who will receive ballots?
Residents of Public Hospital District No. 1, Skagit Regional Health will receive ballots in the mail. The District includes most of the City of Mount Vernon, except a sliver of the eastern edge which lies in an adjacent hospital district. It extends south to the Snohomish County line, west to approximately Bradshaw Road, and east to roughly Lake Cavanaugh and includes the Big Lake area.
Follow this link to see a detailed map. Under Map Categories on the left hand side, click on Districts and select Hospital Districts.
How can people vote?
Ballots must be mailed and postmarked or returned to an official drop box by April 25, 2023.
Drop boxes are located at the Mount Vernon Police Department, 1805 Continental Place, or at the Skagit County Auditor’s Office in the U-shaped parking lot accessed from Third Street near Kincaid Street in Mount Vernon.
We see Skagit Regional Health-related construction going on. How does the levy fit into the cost of those projects?
Levy funds will not be used for the construction costs of the new Mount Vernon Surgery Center adjacent to Skagit Valley Hospital. Skagit Regional Health has leveraged partnerships and innovative ways to finance this project (and the recently opened Skagit Regional Health – Station Square clinic in downtown Mount Vernon). These growth projects align with the organization’s efforts to increase access to care.
Partner developers own the land and are paying for construction of the Surgery Center (and Station Square) reducing the upfront capital cost to Skagit Regional Health. Skagit Regional Health will pay for furnishings and equipment and will lease the space.
Public Hospital District No. 1 is small geographically when compared to the service area of Skagit Regional Health. Why should residents of the district pay for services available to others?
Having quality, accessible health care services is essential to the whole community. A strong healthcare system is able to grow, provide access to health care and can recruit and retain doctors, nurses and staff to meet the needs of patients. Urgent Care and Emergency services are essential to all who live in or visit the region.
Skagit Regional Health has a presence in other counties, will this money support services in other counties?
The levy is designed to support services provided directly within the district.
How did the Board arrive at 50 cents per $1,000 assessed value?
The District has the authority to request as much as 75 cents per $1,000 assessed value. The Board chose to go with a lesser amount of 50 cents to have lower impact on district taxpayers while also realizing a funding level to support the goals of improving access to quality care, enhancing primary, surgical and emergency care; providing locally reliable and accessible urgent care and boosting growth and support for the local workforce.